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Home > Research, Data & Reports > College Readiness & Participation Data > College Participation Rates

 

College Participation Rates

Percent of high school graduates enrolling in college directly out of high school

In 2012, 69 percent of Minnesota's high school graduating class of 2012 attended a postsecondary institution the following fall either in Minnesota or elsewhere. Minnesota's college participation rate increased 13 percentage points since 1996.

Students Choose a Variety of Colleges

The college participation rate of recent high school graduates increased 13 percentage points from 56 percent in 1996 to 69 percent in 2012. The participation rate in Minnesota remained above the mid-60 percent range since 2002.

Of all 2012 Minnesota high school graduates:

Where Minnesota Graduates Enrolled in Minnesota, 2012
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30,027 Minnesota graduates attended 120 Minnesota institutions.

Source: Minnesota Office of Higher Education


Where Minnesota Graduates Enrolled Out of State, 2012
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13,085 Minnesota graduates attended 867 out-of-state institutions.

Source: U.S. Department of Education, IPEDS Enrollment Survey


Participation Rates of Minnesota High School Graduates, 2003-2012

Participation Rates of Minnesota High School Graduates, 2003-2012


Participation Rates of Minnesota High School Graduates, 2012

In-state participation rate by race/ethnicity (Minnesota high school graduates enrolled in a Minnesota postsecondary institution)

Race/EthnicityIn-State Participation Rate
Black42.4%
Asian and Pacific Islander51.6%
Hispanic58.0%
American Indian26.2%
Total Students of Color48.4%
White, Non-Hispanic48.4%
Total in-state participation rate48.3%
Enrolled in other states*21.3%
Total participation rate of
Minnesota high school graduates (enrolled in state plus out of state)
69.6%

*Percent participation by race and ethnicity for students enrolling out-of-state are not available. Out-of-state enrollment data are from the U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics IPEDS enrollment survey.

U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics IPEDS enrollment survey.


Participation Rates of Minnesota High School Graduates Vary by Race

Five-year average college participation rates of Minnesota high school graduates enrolled in a Minnesota postsecondary institution, fall 2008 to 2012

Five-year average college participation rates of Minnesota high school graduates enrolled in a Minnesota postsecondary institution, fall 2008 to 2012


Changing Demographics

While Minnesota has a relatively high overall college participation rate compared to other states, there were notable differences in participation by race and ethnic categories. Asian high school graduates enrolled in Minnesota postsecondary institutions at rates higher than other populations. White high school graduates had the next highest participation rate, followed by Black, Hispanic, and American Indian high school graduates. Participation rates for certain racial and ethnic populations attending Minnesota postsecondary colleges immediately following high school can vary by several percentage points from year to year due to small numbers of students in some racial and ethnic groups, so a five-year average is shown. The five-year average participation rate increased somewhat in recent years.

College participation rates by race and ethnicity were available only for students attending Minnesota institutions. Since 21 percent of high school graduates who enrolled in college attended out of state, a complete picture of college participation of Minnesotas high school graduates by race and ethnicity was not available.

College participation rates should be considered in conjunction with each racial and ethnic groups high school graduation rate. While it might seem students of color have college participate rates similar to white students, there are large gaps in public Minnesota high school graduation rates by race and ethnic groups. Students who do not graduate from high school cannot be included in college participation rates. According to Minnesota Department of Education data, the rate of public high school students graduating within four years in 2011-2012 was 84 percent for white students, 74 percent for Asian students, 53 percent for Hispanic students, 51 percent for Black students, and 45 percent for American Indian students.

In fall 2012, 5,557 students of color enrolled in Minnesota colleges who were recent Minnesota high school graduates compared to 5,253 five years earlier. The number of white students decreased 10 percent from 2008 to 2012. At 19 percent, the percent students of color graduating from Minnesota high school matched the percent of new entering students attending a Minnesota postsecondary institution; increasing from 16 percent five years earlier.

National participation rates

Data provided by the U.S. Department of Education shows the national college participation rate between 1975 and 2011, increased from 51 percent to 68 percent. Even though college participation of immediate high school graduates had been increasing, national data shows an enrollment gap based on family income. In 2011, the immediate enrollment rate for high school completers from low-income families (52 percent) was 30 percentage points lower than the rate for completers from high-income families (82 percent). In each year between 1975 and 2011, the immediate college enrollment rates for high school completers from low- and middle-income families were lower than that of high school completers from high-income families. The 30 percentage point gap between the immediate enrollment rates of high school completers from high-income families and from low-income families in 2011 was not measurably different from the gap in 1975.

About Participation Rates

College participation rates are defined as the number of high school graduates who enroll in a postsecondary education institution the fall after high school graduation. Participation rates are calculated by dividing the number of Minnesota high school graduates by the number who attended a Minnesota postsecondary institution the fall following their year of high school graduation. The Office of Higher Education's student enrollment record database contains data on students' year of high school graduation, state of residence, and high school attended. New entering students, defined as not having previously attended a postsecondary institution, except while a secondary student, are used in calculating participation rates.

The numbers of high school graduates are obtained from the Minnesota Department of Education. Students who graduate from high school and delay college entry past the fall following high school graduation are not included in the participation rate. Data on enrolled students are revised to estimate missing information. Participation rates contain adjustments for:

  • Missing year of high school graduation of new entering postsecondary students
  • Missing data on racial/ethnic identity of new entering postsecondary students
  • Missing data on racial/ethnic identity of all private high school graduates

Data on the number of students attending a postsecondary institution out of state are obtained from the U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, IPEDS enrollment survey, collected biannually. Institutions report the state of residence of freshmen who graduated from high school during the past 12 months.

The participation rate provides one measure along a complex educational pathway. Longitudinal studies and surveys, such as the 2006 Toolbox Revisited by the U.S. Department of Education, provide a more comprehensive picture of the student experience over time, however no such longitudinal study has been conducted in recent years for Minnesota.

 

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